City Council Member Betsy Hodges took a commanding first-round lead Tuesday in balloting for Minneapolis mayor, so strong that it prompted her closest challenger to offer his congratulations.
With all 119 precincts reporting, Hodges had 36 percent of first-round votes, and former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew trailed with nearly 25 percent.
A precinct-by-precinct map by the Star Tribune shows Hodges with a strong performance throughout much of the city.
Overall, when second and third choices are added, Hodges was named on more than 67 percent of all mayoral ballots cast.
It now appears Wednesday’s vote reallocation will be anticlimactic.
Just before 10 p.m., the StarTribune’s Eric Roper tweeted: “Andrew says Hodges will be ‘excellent mayor.’ Says can’t formally [concede] until 2nd & 3rd choice votes.”
Minutes later, Hodges came out to greet supporters and said: “We do not know who the next mayor of Minneapolis is.”
The crowd yelled back, “Yes, we do.”
Among the 35 mayoral candidates, City Council Member Don Samuels was the only other one in double digits, at 10.5 percent. Independent Cam Winton had 9.5 percent.
Second-choice ballots — and possibly third-choice votes — will be needed to determine the winner when city election officials start the reallocation process Wednesday afternoon.
On voters’ second-choice ballots, Hodges narrowly led Samuels, with Andrew right behind.
On third choices, Samuels led Andrew, followed by Hodges.
Meanwhile, in St. Paul, Mayor Chris Coleman easily won re-election to a third term.
In Minneapolis City Council races, unofficial results show four new council members gaining a clear majority of first-place votes: Jacob Frey in Ward 3, Abdi Warsame — the first Somali American elected to the council — in Ward 6, Lisa Bender in Ward 10 and Andrew Johnson in Ward 12.
Six council incumbents were declared unofficial winners, too: Kevin Reich in Ward 1, Cam Gordon in Ward 2 , Barbara Johnson in Ward 4, Lisa Goodman in Ward 7, Elizabeth Glidden in Ward 8 and John Quincy in Ward 11.
That leaves the outcome of three council races to be determined by reallocating ranked-choice votes: Wards 5, 9 and 13.
Also in Minneapolis, two ballot questions about simplifying and updating the city charter passed easily.
Check out MinnPost’s election app here for the full list of first-round Minneapolis results and all other election contests.
Beth Hawkins contributed to this report.